Home » Newsletter » Where The Wild Thongs Are

Where The Wild Thongs Are


In our latest episode, we discuss why “he’s seen the elephant” means “he’s been in combat.” Also, a look at idioms, like the Spanish one that translates as “your bowtie is whistling.” And what names do you use for your grandparents? Meemaw? Papaw? Something else? Listen:


“Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, you’re a mile away and you have his shoes.” Thanks to Tim in Seattle who emailed us that paraprosdokian.

Missed our show on paraprosdokians? It’s here:


We note with sadness the recent passing of the great Southern writer Reynolds Price. He died last week at the age of 77. The New York Times obit is worth a read:


An appreciation of Price, plus some of his own helpful writing tips, from one of Price’s former students:


Boston Globe columnist Jan Freeman celebrates the new online OED (available free until Feb. 5!) and ponders whether the term “would-be assassin” makes sense.


(That link to her column should work, but note that if you return to it later, you’ll get a registration page.)

BEHIND THE SCENES: In an upcoming episode, we’ll discuss the “incorrections” that sometimes result when a smartphone “corrects” text messages.

One listener told us his phone changed the Maurice Sendak title to “Where the Wild Thongs Are.” We’d love to hear about more examples of not-so-smartphones.

Send them to words@waywordradio.org, and yours might end up on the air!

Have a great week,

Martha and Grant

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Further reading

Life of Riley (episode #1533)

Unwrap the name of a candy bar, and you just might find a story inside. For instance, one chewy treat found in many a checkout lane is named after a family’s beloved horse. And: 50 years ago in the United States, some Latino elementary...

Blue Dolphin (episode #1634)

How can you kick the verbal habit of saying you know and um so many times in a sentence? For one thing, get comfortable with pauses. There’s no need to fill every silence during a conversation. Also, a doctor who treats patients in Appalachia...